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This is the main page of the site. Archive for 2013.

Zonsondergang bij eindpunt tram 12 Duindorp

Image link - posted 2013-06-29

Buying a USB 3 - Gigabit Ethernet adapter

When I get the new computer, I guess I'll have to buy a second GE adapter so I can transfer data between the two computers at the highest possible speed. There are now 10/100/1000 Ethernet - USB3 adapters. Those should give me full GE performance on the new computer that will have USB3, but in the meantime something better than wifi using USB2 on my current machine.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

→ Have iPhone, will travel—without a data plan

It's that time of year when people tend to go on vacation, and although data roaming in Europe is now slightly less expensive, it's still not cheap, so here's a link to my Ars Technica story on how to use your iPhone without a data plan.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

→ On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Twenty years ago today, Peter Steiner's now iconic cartoon was published in the New Yorker. Of course with all the tracking and spying, on the internet everyone knows you're a dog these days.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

Sheep as far as the eye can see

Image link - posted 2013-07-09

→ Drain the Oceans

Looks like draining the oceans would be quite beneficial to us Netherlanders!

Read the article - posted 2013-07-09

Relaunching my blog

Five years ago I turned this site into a blog. I used Apple's iWeb software, thinking this would make it easier to update the site than crafting HTML by hand. And it was, for a while. But iWeb has been dead for quite some time.

So I decided to relaunch the blog using a homegrown content management system (this makes it sound a lot bigger than it really is, trust me). With this, it's easier to fire off quick posts or just link to somewhere else with a comment. The title of these posts starts with a →.

To avoid scaring people away with large swaths of text, the homepage just shows a short intro by default. You have to click on the red triangle to expand the full text of a post in place. Because the text is already loaded, you'll see it immediately. You can of course also click on the title to see the post on a separate page.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-09

No more Google Reader = anonymous searching

It just occurs to me that Google may have shot itself in the foot by discontinuing its Google Reader RSS reader service, because now more people will do their Google searching without being logged in.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-12

Gouda isn't just the home of tasty cheese, it also has a wonderful old city hall building

Image link - posted 2013-07-14

My OHM2013 talk: Federation fosters freedom

Between 31 july and 4 august OHM2013 ("Observe. Hack. Make.") will take place in Holland. I'll have a talk on the 4th at 16.00 about how network protocols that let you run your own server foster freedom, while monolithic services such as Facebook and Twitter do the opposite.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-15

→ Pinnen, nee liever niet: een maand leven zonder pinpas

Brenno de Winter @ HP/De Tijd:

„Als technologie-adept merk ik dat ik contant geld weer aan het waarderen ben met dank aan de PRISM-drang van Equens. Inmiddels pin ik af en toe als het zo uitkomt, maar het contant betalen houden we er lekker in. Het geeft me een goed gevoel.”

Read the article - posted 2013-07-16

iOS 7, new iPhone screen sizes and insta-deletion

Decisions, decisions: update your iOS apps now for iOS 7 and be ready on day one, or wait until new iPhones and iPads arrive and incorporate support for a possible new screen size/resolution in the update?

Read the article - posted 2013-07-17

Caching PHP-generated pages

For years, I always used to include an If-Modified-Since header in my PHP scripts in order to allow their output to be cached by web brow­sers. Turns out, it takes a bit more work.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-18

→ iOS 7: watershed moment

Gedeon Maheux of the Iconfactory makes the point that it takes a lot of developer time to create new versions of apps and then asks:

how willing would you be to re-purchase your favorite apps if they are optimized for iOS 7? Look at your device’s home screen and go down the list of apps you use most and ask yourself if you could live without it once you upgrade. I think that most users (at least those that matter to de­velop­ers) would answer that they would gladly pay again if it means having the latest and greatest version of their favorite apps, at least I would hope so.

I hope so too. I would much rather pay for new iOS 7 optimized versions of my favorite apps than be stuck halfway there because of lack of time/money to do the work to get fully on board with iOS 7 and/or the need to keep supporting iOS 6.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-18

Why does this make me think of Chicago?

Image link - posted 2013-07-20

Old trams are leet (via hovm.nl)

Image link - posted 2013-07-21

→ Slechte journalistiek over Detroit

Het blijkt dat de bericht­geving over de problemen van het failliete Detroit totaal niet klopt. Maarten Keulemans, weten­schaps­journalist voor de Volks­krant, heeft uit­ge​zocht hoe het wel zit.

Verbazingwekkend hoe slecht veel journalisten hun werk doen.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-21

My homegrown CMS is getting better all the time

My homegrown CMS now lets me make posts go live automatically at a predetermined date/time.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-25

"Gooi die hele geboortebeperking maar op economisch gewin"

Ik weet niet precies wat ze met die titel bedoelt, maar ik ben het van harte eens met Tinkebell in Trouw, die vindt dat het wel wat minder kan met het reproduceren van onszelf.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-25

Een eigen server zorgt voor vrijheid—als de protocollen meewerken

Dit is een samenvatting van wat ik zaterdag op OHM2013 ga vertellen. Het is ook te lezen op ISP Today. De foto is van HAL2001.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-30

If you only see one train station in Holland, see the Haarlem station

Image link - posted 2013-07-31

Slides for my talk federation fosters freedom

These are the slides for my talk "federation fosters freedom" at OHM2013. (PDF.)

Read the article - posted 2013-08-03

Having fun with invisible ink

A month ago, I got a message from the OHM2013 speakerdesk:

Since you you'll be giving a presentation, lecture or workshop at OHM2013 (for grownups), we'd like to ask you; do you feel like giving a little talk about your subject for kids?

Thinking that my talk (about federation of online services, where you can have a choice of service providers or even run your own server rather than be beholden to big companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter (PDF of the slides, explanation in Dutch) might be a tad too abstract for kids age 6 - 10, I proposed something else instead: writing secret messages in invisible ink.

Read the article - posted 2013-08-05

On BMI and carbs

Last week at OHM2013, Bert Hubert had an interesting talk: What you need to know about what you eat: health & weight. He started with a slightly simpler version of this graph that show how we all started getting a lot fatter since the mid-1980s:

Read the article - posted 2013-08-07

My OHM2013 photos

These are some photos I took at OHM2013.

Also see my photos from HAL2001 and HIP'97, WTH2005, HAR2009, and SHA2017.

Read the article - posted 2013-08-08

I like the bee coloring

Image link - posted 2013-08-09

Holy oil refinery, Batman!

Image link - posted 2013-08-12

It's nice to be able to go to the beach after dinner

Image link - posted 2013-08-14

→ Deleting zombie photos from iPhoto

Recently I noticed when I delete photos from the iPhoto trash, iPhoto doesn't necessarily delete the image files from its library. My iPhoto library is the single biggest thing on my MacBook Air's hard drive, and it's the reason I had to pay extra for a 256GB SDD rather than use the stock 128GB one. I'm in the habit of taking a bunch of shots of every subject to make sure at least one has the correct focus, exposure, and is level. All this is to say I have a lot of extra photos that I need to get rid of.

But as I noticed, sometimes iPhoto doesn't delete photos when you empty the iPhoto trash. It just removes them from its database so they're no longer visible without deleting the actual image files. Those files still use up disk space—to the tune of 10 GB in my case.

So, after a little tinkering, here's how to get rid of those unwanted photos and reclaim that disk space in eight easy steps.

Read the article - posted 2013-08-19

4000 km in 7 months!

Image link - posted 2013-08-21

Photos International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen 2013

Yesterday on the penultimate day of the Internaational Vuurwerk Festival Scheveningen 2013 I took some photos with my new Canon Powershot SX280 camera. These are the results.

Read the article - posted 2013-08-24

Score! Fresh fruit growing in the middle of the city.

Image link - posted 2013-08-28

Some of my favorite podcasts

Anyone who's been reading my stuff on Ars Technica will know that I love podcasts. I'm always adding new ones to my rotation and retiring ones that have run their course for one reason or another. So I thought I'd share some of my current favorites with you.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-13

Apple's iPhone 5s dock

When the iPhone 5 was released last year, Apple didn't bother with any cases or docks. Third parties certainly addressed the lack of cases, but as far as I can tell, there were never any good docks. But now there's the iPhone 5s dock, which is also compatible with the iPhone 5. So I got on my bicycle and went to the nearest Apple Store to get one. Read on to see if it was worth € 29 and cycling 63 km.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-22

Onze pakketten zijn te klein!

Zoals genoegzaam bekend, communiceren we over het internet in pakketten. Tekst, plaatjes, telefonie, video, data... alles wordt in stukken gehakt en als IP-pakketten verstuurd. Pakketten die nauwelijks groter zijn dan 25 jaar geleden, waardoor routers, switches en computers duurder en ingewikkelder zijn en meer stroom gebruiken dan nodig.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-25

My advice to podcast app developers

As an avid podcast listener, I felt a strong urge to dispense some advice after listening to Marco Arment talk about his ideas for his upcoming Overcast podcast player application for iOS. First a rant about iTunes 11.1.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-30

Radio Kootwijk gebouw A

This weekend, I was in the neighborhood of Radio Kootwijk, so I took advantage of that opportunity to take some photos of Radio Kootwijk gebouw A ("building A"). This is the site of a big shortwave radio transmitter that allowed the Netherlands to keep in contact with Indonesia, which was a colony of the Netherlands at that time. The time being the 1920s. I love this kind of art deco architecture.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-04

2013, a good MacBook Pro year?

I bought Apple laptops in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2011. So that's one every two years on average. In 2008, I learned the hard way that I really need to have a decent backup computer in case my primary one fails. So a while back I decided that I should probably buy a new computer every two years, and keep the previous one as a backup for another two years. So I'm due for a new laptop this year.

Which brings up the question: is 2013 a good year for buying a new Mac laptop?

Read the article - posted 2013-10-09

Archiving data: DVDs, flash drives, hard drives?

Originally, I intended to write a story under the title "saying goodbye to the optical drive". But after a few minutes of research, it turns out that, in my particular case, the optical drive may be on its way out, but it hasn't quite left the premises yet, and not just because I may need to rip a DVD or CD once or twice a year. Let me tell you a tale of backups and storage management.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-14

Vlak naast de Brienenoordbrug!

Image link - posted 2013-10-19

Mathematics of weight loss

Have you ever wondered when losing weight, where the weight goes? Or what the chemical formula for body fat is? Even if you already know, this is a very interesting video:

The mathematics of weight loss: Ruben Meerman at TEDxQUT

Read the article - posted 2013-10-23

The sun has set on the last day of summertime

Image link - posted 2013-10-26

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: battery life

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new MacBook Pro¹ here in several installments. This is the first one, which looks at battery life.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-28

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: CPU performance

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the second one, looking at CPU performance.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-30

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: ports and networking

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new 13" MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the third one, looking at the MacBook Pro's I/O ports and wireless networking. Also see the earlier instalments about battery life and CPU performance.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-31

De lightning-kabel van de Albert Hein

Image link - posted 2013-11-06

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: audio

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new 13" MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the fourth one, looking at the MacBook Pro's audio capabilities. Also see the earlier instalments about battery life, CPU performance and ports and networking

Read the article - posted 2013-11-08

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

This is the last instalment of my review of the 13" late 2013 MacBook Pro. Now also available in ePub format, for reading in (for instance) iBooks.

Read the article - posted 2013-11-11

→ Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard

My latest Ars Technica post, extolling the virtues of the IBM Model M keyboard. This got a lot of comments on Ars and on Twitter, but so far nobody has picked up on the easter egg. Have a good look at the photo (larger version).

Read the article - posted 2013-11-18

Colored leaves!

Image link - posted 2013-11-19

An oil rig off the coast of The Hague

When you're at the beach in The Hague, you can see this oil rig 12 km away:

Read the article - posted 2013-11-20

→ Review: The productivity suite formerly known as iWork

My review of iWork '13 for Ars Technica. I tried to be open to the new incarnations of Pages, Numbers and Keynote, but that quickly went out the window as I kept discovering new problems. But I still got called out for being too generous by a commenter.

Read the article - posted 2013-11-25

About that third-party lightning cable for my iPhone

Last month I posted a picture of the lightning cable I got for € 6.29 at my local super market—a third of what Apple charges.

At first, it seemed to work well except for this warning that pops up when I connect it to my iPhone 5...

Read the article - posted 2013-12-16

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